Shunde is known for its pioneering of Cantonese cuisine, as well as its use of Daliang cow’s milk in sweet and savory creations. It may be difficult to find Daliang milk outside of Shunde, but that won’t stop you from making this custard. Minimal ingredients are needed to make this dessert which has a delicate, smooth consistency packed with a gingery kick for the tastebuds! Whole milk is best for this recipe since it is closer to the full-body taste of traditional Daliang milk; however, you can also use 2%-fat milk to make the dessert healthier. Just increase the setting time of the dessert by 5 minutes to ensure the custard firms up.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1 cup whole milk
3 tsp. ginger juice
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. ginger, peeled and diced
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ginger juice
1) Prepare candied ginger by combining sugar, ginger juice, and ginger dices over low heat.
2) A sugar syrup will develop and bubbles will appear. Continue stirring candied ginger until the liquid dries and only sugar crystals and the ginger pieces remain (approx. 15-20 minutes). Remove from heat.
3) Prepare custard by portioning out 1.5 tsp. ginger juice and 1 tsp. sugar to each of 2 ramekins (5.5 oz., 3.5″ dia.).
4) In a small pot, heat milk to 170F (or 80C) over low heat. Be careful to not let the milk boil.
5) Pour heated milk equally into ramekins. Leave ramekins undisturbed and covered with aluminum foil for 15 minutes. Do not stir.
6) Remove foil and serve immediately topped with candied ginger; or, chill in refrigerator.
For the ginger juice, be sure to choose a “mature”, very fibrous piece of ginger. Grate the ginger and squeeze out the liquid from the fibers. You can use a sieve to catch any fibers while removing the juice, but using your fingers works just as well.
The beauty of this dessert is achieving the custard consistency without using any eggs, gelatin, or agar-agar. However, be careful not to shake or move the milk once it has been added to the ginger juice, because this will disturb the setting process.